Canucks Rumors: Contract Talks Break Down, D-Man to Hit Free Agency

It appears that it'll be one and done for Vancouver Canucks impending unrestricted free agent defenseman Ian Cole. The 35-year-old signed a one-year, $3 million contract last summer, but according to Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, talks on a potential extension have broken down and Cole will be hitting the free-agent market once again on July 1. 

"It looks like he is going to hit the free agent market after some contract talks that couldn't find common ground." Dhaliwal says that although the Canucks "really liked" Cole and wanted him back, he'd have to come in at a "much lower rate" than the $3M he made this season.

Cole is the victim of a numbers game this summer in Vancouver, as GM Patrik Allvin has plenty of other UFA concerns on his mind, and names like Tyler Myers, Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm are higher priority than Cole. 

Cole did provide a solid veteran presence and know-how to the Canucks dressing room, with over 1,000 games played in the NHL, and two Stanley Cups to his credit. This past season in Vancouver, he showed, even at age 35 in his 14th season, that he can still get the job done as a top-notch defender. He logged 18:41 of ice time per game in 78 contests, while posting a +10 rating and blocking 166 shots. 

The veteran was criticized for his play in the second round against the Edmonton Oilers, but it's been revealed that he was playing with a bad ankle gash suffered after a collision with Evander Kane in Game 2 of that series, making it painful to wear his skate.

All in all, Cole should find plenty of options on the free agent market. 

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